tv State of the Union 2014 CSPAN January 28, 2014 9:00pm-10:01pm EST
thank you so much. ,r. speaker, mr. vice president members of congress, my fellow a icans, today in america, teacher spent extra time with a student who needed it and did her part to lift america's graduation rate to its highest levels in more than three decades. an entrepreneur flipped on the lights in her tech startup and did her part to add to the more than eight million new jobs our businesses have created over the past four years. auto worker fine-tuned some of the best most fuel-efficient cars in the world and did his part to wean america off of
foreign oil. a farmer who prepared for the spring after the longest, a rural doctor gave a young child the prescription to treat asthma hat his mother could afford. a man took the bus home from the graveyard shift, bone tired, dreaming big dreams for his son and in a tight-knit communities across america, fathers and mothers will tuck in their kids, put an arm around their spouse, remember fallen comrades and give thanks for being home from a war that after 12 long years is finally coming to an end.
>> tonight this chamber speaks with one voice to the people we represent. it is you. our citizens, who make the state of our union strong. and here are the results of your efforts. the lowest unemployment rate in over five years, a rebounding housing market, a manufacturing sector that's adding jobs for the first time since the 1990's, more oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world, the first time that's happened in nearly 20 years. our deficits, cut by more than half. and for the first time -- for
the first time in over a decade, business leaders around the world have declared that china is no longer the number one place to invest. merica is. that's why i believe this can be a break-through year for america . after five years of grit and determined effort, the united states is better positioned for the 21st century than any other nation on earth. the question for everyone in this chamber, running through every decision we make this year is whether we are going to help or hinder this progress. for several years now, this town
has been consumed by an argument over the proper size of the federal government. it's an important debate. one that dates back to our very founding. when that debate prevents us from carrying out even the most basic functions of our democracy, when our differences shut down government or threaten the full faith and credit of the united states, then we are not doing right by the american eople. now as president, i'm committed to making washington work better and rebuilding the trust of the people who sent us here. nd i believe most believe your too. thanks to the work of democrats and republicans, congress produced a budget that undoes
severe cuts to education. nobody got everything they wanted. we can still do more to invest in this country's future while bringing down our deficit in a balanced way, but the budget compromise should leave us fiscal year to create more jobs, not creating new crises. and in the coming months, let's see where else we can make progress together. let's make this a year of action. that's what most americans want for all of us in this chamber to focus on their lives, their hopes, their aspirations. what i believe units the people of this nation, regardless of race or region or party, young or old, rich or poor, it's the simple profound belief in opportunity for all, the notion that if you work hard and take responsibility, you can get
head in america. let's face it, that belief has suffered some serious blows. over more than three decades, even before the great recession hit, massive shifts in technology and global competition had eliminated a lot of good middle-class jobs and weakened the economic foundations that families depend on. today, after four years of economic growth, corporate profits and stock prices have rarely been higher and those at the top have never done better, but average wages have barely budged. inequality has deepened. upward mobility has stalled. the cold hard fact is, even in the midst of recovery, too many americans are working more just
to get by, and still too many aren't working at all. so, our job is to reverse these trends. it won't happen right away and we won't agree on everything. but what i offer tonight is a set of concrete, strengthened proposals to build ladders of opportunity into the middle class. some require congressional action and i'm eager to work with you. america will not stand still and neither will i. wherever i can ta steps to expand opportunities for more american families, that's what i'm going to do. as usual, our first lady sets a
good example. michelle has moved partnerships with schools, businesses, local leaders and helped bring down childhood obesity rates in the past 30 years and that is achievement that will improve lives. the joining alliance has encouraged employers to train 400,000 veterans and military spouses. taking a page from that
playbook, the white house organized a summit that businesses and nonprofits have made concrete commitments to reduce inequality and help every hard-working kid go to college and succeed when they go to campus and across the country, we are partnering with mayors, governors and state legislatures on issues from homelessness to marriage equality. the point is, there are millions of americans outside of washington who are tired of stale political arguments and are moving this country forward. they believe. and i believe that here in america, our success should depend not on accident of birth but the strength of our work ethic and the scope of our dreams. that's what drew our forebearers here that's how the daughter of a factory worker and c.e.o. of
the best measure of opportunity is access to a good job. with the economy picking up speed, companies say they intend to hire more people this year. and over half of big manufacturers say they are thinking of insourcing jobs from abroad. so lets make that decision easier for companies. both democrats and republicans have argued that our tax code is riddled with wasteful complicated loopholes that reward companies that keep profits abroad. let's work together to close the loopholes and end the incentive to shift jobs overseas and reate jobs right here at home.
moreover we can take the money we save to create jobs, rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes. because in today's global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure. we'll need congress to protect more than three million jobs by finishing transportation and waterwaist' bills this summer, and that can happen. but i'll act on my own to slash bureaucracy and streamline the permitting process for key projects so we can get more construction workers on the job as fast as possible. we have the chance right now to beat other countries in the race for the next wave of high-tech manufacturing jobs. and my administration's launched
two hubs for high-tech manufacturing in raleigh, north carolina and youngstown, ohio where we connected universities to industries to help lead the world in advanced technologies. we eel -- we will launch six more this year. so get those bills to my desk. put more americans back to work. let's do more to help the entrepreneurs and small business owners who create more small jobs in america. over the past five years, my administration has made more loans to small business owners than any other. and when 98% of our exporters are small businesses, new trade partnerships with europe and the
asia-pacific will help them create even more jobs. we need to work together on tools like bipartisan trade mow proceedings authority to protect our workers, protect our environment and open our market to new goods stamped, made in he u.s.a. listen, china and europe aren't standing on the sidelines. neither should we. we know that the nation that goes all in on innovation today will own the global economy tomorrow. this is an edge america cannot surrender. federally funded research helped lead to the ideas and inventions behind google and smart phones and that's why congress should undo the damage done by last year's cuts to basic research,
so we can unleash the next great merican discovery. there are entire industries to be built based on vaccines that stay ahead of drug-resistant bacteria, or paper thin material that's stronger than steel. let's pass a patent reform bill that allows our businesses to stay focused on innovation, not ostly and needless litigation. now, one of the biggest factors in bringing more jobs back sour commitment to american energy. the all of the above energy strategy i announced a few years ago is working and today america is closer to energy independence han we have been in decades.
one of the reasons why is natural gas. if extracted safely, it's the bridge fuel that can power our economy with less of the carbon pollution that causes climate change. businesses plan to invest almost $100 billion in new factories that use natural gas. i'll cut red tape to help states get those factories built and put folks to work and this congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to merican natural gas. meanwhile, my administration will keep working with the industry to sustain production and jobs growth while strengthening protection of our air, our water, our communities. while we're at it, i'll use my authority to protect more of our pristine federal lands for uture generations.
it's not just oil and natural gas production that's booming. we're becoming a global lead for the solar, too. every four minutes, another american home or business goes solar. every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job cannot be outsourced. let's continue that progress with a smarter tax policy that stops giving $4 billion a year to fossil fuel industries that don't need it so we can invest more in fuels of the future that o. and even as we have increased energy production, we've partnered with businesses, builders, and local communities
to reduce the energy we consume. when we rescued our auto workers, for example, we worked with them to set higher fuel efficiency standards for our cars. in the coming months, i'll build on that success by setting new standards for trucks so we can start driving down oil imports and what we pay at the pump. taken together, our energy policy is creating jobs and leading to a cleaner, safer planet. over the past eight years, the united states has reduced our total carbon pollution more than any other nation on earth. but we have to act with more urgency because a changing climate is already harming western communities struggling with drought, coastal cities dealing with floods. that's why i directed my administration to work with states, utilities, and others to set new standards on the amount
of carbon pollution that our factories are allowed to dump in the air. the shift to cleaner energy will not happen overnight but the debate is settled. climate change is a fact. when our children's children look us in the eye and ask if we did all we could to leave them a safer, more stable world with clean energy, i want us to be ble to say, yes, we did. finally, if we're serious about economic growth, it is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, law enforcement, and fix our broken immigration ystem.
republicans and democrats in the senate have acted and i know that members of both parties in the house want to do the same. independent economists say immigration reform will grow our economy and shrink our deficits by almost $1 trillion in the next two decades, and for good reasons. when people come here to fulfill their dreams, study, invest, contribute to our culture, they make our country a more attractive place for businesses to locate and bring jobs for everybody. so let's get immigration reform one this year. let's get it done. it's time. the ideas i have outline sod far
can speed up growth and create more jobs but in this rapidly changing economy, we have to make sure that every american has the skills to fill those jobs. the good news is, we know how to do it. two years ago, as the auto industry came roaring back, andra rush opened up a manufacturing firm in detroit. she knew that ford needed parts for the best-selling truck in america and she knew how to make those parts. she just needed the work force. so she dialed up what we call an american job center, places where folks can walk in to get the help or training they need to find a new job or a better job. she was flooded with new workers. today, detroit manufacturing systems has more than 700 employees. what andra and her employees experienced is how it should be for every employer and every job seeker. tonight i've asked vice
president biden to lead an across the board reform of america's training programs to make sure they have one mission, train americans with the skills employers need and match them to good jobs that need to be filled right now. that means more on the job training and more apprenticeships that set a young worker on an upward trajectory for life. it means connecting countries to fill jobs with specific needs. if congress wants to help, concentrate on improving proven programs to connect ready to work americans with ready to be filled jobs. i'm also convinced we can help
americans return to the work force faster by reforming unemployment insurance so it's more effective in today's economy. but first, this congress needs to restore the unemployment insurance you just let expire or 1.6 million people. let me tell you why. misty is a mother of two young boys. she's been steadily employed since she was a teenager. put herself through college. she never collected unemployment benefits, but she's been paying taxes. in may, she and her husband used their life savings to buy their first homes. a week later, budget cuts claimed the job she loved.
last month when her unemployment benefits ran out she wrote many a -- me a letter, the kind i get every day. we're the face of the unemployment crisis, she wrote. i'm not dependent on the government. our country depends on us, we care about our neighbors. i'm confident that in time i will find a job, i will pay my taxes and we will raise our children in our own home in the community we love. please give us this chance. congress, give these hardworking, responsible americans that chance. give them that chance. ive them the chance. they need our help right now but more important, this country needs them in the game.
that's why i've been asking c.e.o.'s to give more long-term unemployed workers a fair shot at new jobs a new chance to support their families. in fact, this week, many will come to the white house to make that commitment real. tonight i ask every business leader in america to join us and do the same because we are stronger when america feels a -- ields a full team. of course, it's not enough to train today's work force. we also have to prepare tomorrow's work force. by guaranteeing every child access to a world class education. steven rodriguez couldn't
speak any english when he came to this country. but he led a crowd of classmates from the school to the post office where they mailed off their college applications. this son of a factory worker just found out he's going to college this fall. five years week set out to change the odds for all our kids. we worked with lenders to reform student loans and today more young people are earning college degrees than ever before. race to the top, with the help of governors from both parties, has helped states raise expectations and performance. teachers and principals in schools from tennessee to washington, d.c. are making big strides in preparing students with skills for the new economy.
problem solving, critical thinking, science, technology, engineering, math. some of this change is hard. it requires everything from more challenging curriculums and more demanding parents, to better sport for teachers. and -- better support for teachers. and new ways to measure how well our kids think, not how well they can fill in a bubble on a test. but it is worth it, and it is working. the problem is, we're still not reaching enough kids. we're not reaching them in time. and that has to change. research shows that one of the best investments we can make in a child's life is high quality early education. last year, i asked this congress
to help states make high quality pre-k available over the 4-year-old. as a parent, as well as the president, i repeat that request tonight. but in the meantime, 30 states have raised pre-k funding on their own. they know we can't wait. just as we worked with states to reform our schools this year we'll invest in new partnerships with states and communities across the country in a race to the top for our youngest children. as congress decides what it's going to do, i'm going to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders and philanthropists willing to help more kids access the high-quality pre-k they need. it is right for america. e need to get this done. last year i also pledged to connect 99% of our students to high speed broadband over the
next four years. tonight i can announce that with the support of the f.c.c. and companies like apple, microsoft, sprint, and verizon, we've got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and 20 million students over the next two years without adding a dime o the deficit. we're working to redesign high schools and partner them with colleges and employers for -- with -- to have more real-world education. it will give parents more information and colleges more incentive to give better value so that no middle class kid is priced out of a college education. we're offering millions to cap -- millions to cap their monthly student loan payments to 10% of their income. i want to work with congress to
see how we can help more americans who feel trapped by and i'm reaching out to foundations and corporations on a new initiative to help more young men of color to stay on track and reach their full potential. bottom line is, michelle and i want every child to have the same chance this country gave us. we know our opportunity ajeopardy after won't be complete and too many young people entering the work force today will see the american dream as an empty promise unless we do more to make sure our economy honors the dignity of work and hard work pays off for every single american. and today, women make up about half our work force. but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.
that is wrong. and in 2014, it's an embarrassment. women deserve equal pay for qual work. she deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. a mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or a sick parent without running into hardship. and a father does, too. it is time to do away with workplace policies that are in a madman episode, let's work together, congress, businesses, wall street to main street to
give every woman the opportunity she deserves because i believe hen women succeed, america ucceeds. now, women hold a majority of lower-wage jobs. but they aren't the only ones stifled by stagnant wages. americans understand that some people will earn more money than others and we don't resent those who achieve incredible success. that is what america is all about. but americans overwhelmingly agree that those who work full-time shouldn't have to raise a family in poverty.
in the years since i asked this congress to raise the minimum wage, five states have raised theirs. many businesses have done it on their own. nick shooter is here today with his boss. john is owner of a pizza place in minneapolis and nick helps make the dough, only now, he makes more of it. john gave his employees a raise to 10 bucks an hour and that boosted their morale. i ask more of america's business leaders to follow john's lead. do what you can to raise your employees' wages.
it's good for the economy, it's ood for america. every mayor, governor, state legislator in america, i say, you don't have to wait for congress to act, americans will support you if you take this on. and as the chief executive, i intend to lead by example. corporations like costco see higher wages as the smart way to oost activity and reduce turnover. i will issue an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of $10.10 because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty.
of course, to reach millions more, congress does need to get on board. today, the federal minimum wage is worth about 0% less than it was when ronald reagan first stood here. tom harkin and george miller have a bill to fix that by ifting the minimum wage to $10 .10. this will help families and give businesses customers with more money to spend. it does not involve any new bureaucratic program. join the rest of the country. say yes. give america a raise. give them a raise.
there are steps we can take to help families make ends meet. fewer are more effected than the earned income tax credit. right now, it helps about half of all parents at some point. think about that. it helps about half of all parents in america at some point in their lives. but i agree with republicans like senator rubio that it doesn't do enough for single workers who don't have kids. let's do more to help americans get ahead. let's help americans save for retirement. today, most americans don't have a pension. social security check often isn't enough on its own. and while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn't help folks who have 401k's. tomorrow i will direct the treasury to create a new way to
elp americans start. myira. new savings bond to encourage folks to build a new nest egg. no risk of losing what you put in. if this congress wants to help with me, work with me and fix an upside down tax code that helps the wealthy saveb. offer every american access to an i.r.a. on the job so they can have access to an i.r.a. and the most important investment is their home, protect taxpayers from a housing crisis and keeps the dream of home ownership for uture generations.
one last point on financial security. for decades, few things exposed hard-working families to economic hardship more than a broken health care system. and in case you haven't heard, we are in the process of fixing that. now, a pre-existing condition used to mean that someone like amanda shelley, a physician's assist ant and single mom from arizona, couldn't get health insurance. but on january 1, she got covered. on january 3, she felt a sharp pain. on january 6, she had emergency surgery. one week earlier, amanda said,
that surgery would have met bankruptcy. that's what health insurance reform is all about, the peace of mind that if misfortune strikes, you don't have to lose everything. already because of the affordable care act, more than three million americans under age 26 have gained coverage under their parents' insurance plan. more than nine million americans have signed up for private health insurance or medicaid coverage. nine million. here's another number. zero, because of this law, no american, none, zero can ever again be dropped or denied coverage for a pre-existing condition like asthma or back ain or cancer.
no woman can ever be charged more just because she's a woman. and we did all this while adding years to medicare's finances, keeping medicare premiums flat and lowering prescription costs for millions of seniors. now, i do not expect to convince my republican friends on the merits of this law. but i know that the american people are not interested in refighting old battles, so again, if you have specific plans to cut costs, cover more people, increase choice, tell america what you do differently. let's see if the numbers add up.
but let's not have another 40-something votes to repeal a law that is already helping millions of americans like manda. first 40 were plenty. we all owe it to the american people to say what we're for, not against. if you want to know the real impact, talk to governor of kentucky. kentucky is not the most liberal
votes. he is like a man possessed when it comes to covering his commonwealth's families. they are our neighbors and our friends, he said. they are people we shop and go to church with, farmers out on the tractor, grocery clerks, for people who go to work every morning praying they don't get sick. no one deserves to live that way. he's right. that's why tonight i ask every american who knows someone without health insurance who help them get covered by march 31. help them get covered. moms, get on your kids to sign up. kids, call your mom and walk her through the application. it will give her some peace of mind, plus she will appreciate earing from you.
after all, that's the spirit that has always moved this nation forward. it's the spirit of citizenship. recognition that through hard work and responsibility, we can pursue our individual dreams, but still come together as one american family to make sure the next generation can pursue its dreams as well. citizenship means standing up or everyone's right to vote. last year, part of the voting rights act was weakened, but conservative republicans and liberal democrats are working to strengthen it. and the bipartisan commission i
appointed, chaired by my campaign lawyer and governor romney's campaign lawyer came together and have offered reforms so no one has to wait more than a half hour to vote. let's support these efforts. it should be the power of our vote, not the size of our bank account that drives our emocracy. citizenship means standing up for the lives that gun violence steals from us each day. i've seen the courage of parents, students, police officers all over this country who say, we are not afraid. and i intend to keep trying, with or without congress, to help stop more tragedies from visiting innocent americans in our movie theaters, our shopping
malls, or schools like sandy ook. citizenship demands a sense of common purpose. participation in the hard work of self-government. an obligation to serve our communities. and i know this chamber agrees that few americans give more to their country than our diplomats and the men and women of the united states armed forces.